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The U.N., which has about 41,000 staff from 193 member countries working for it, offers job seekers several official routes to find and apply for jobs with the organization.

The U.N. Careers Portal is a gateway website for U.N.-related job seekers to see what job openings are available.

The website shows U.N. job seekers openings along with useful related useful information for those who are seeking career opportunities with the U.N. The website offers basic information, including what the organization does, career paths within the U.N., the organizational structure, recruiting process, as well as an insight to staff experiences in working for the international body.

On the U.N. portal, job seekers can search job openings by category, department and location. The positions range from professional and more senior categories to field services, general services and related categories, national professional officers, consultants and internships. The organization strongly encourages women to apply, according to the portal.

Application process

To receive alerts for newly posted jobs, job seekers first have to register as users to create an account. Potential applicants need to create a user profile, which will include basic information such as name, nationality, marital status and contact numbers, before filling in online application forms.

Once completed, applications are evaluated based on the applicant’s work experience, skills and education. If an applicant is deemed qualified for the position, applied for, they will move onto an assessment. The assessment exercise could be in the form of a written exam, a case study or a simulation exercise. Candidates successful in the assessment exercise are short-listed for a competency-based interview.

A competency-based interview is held in the forms of either a phone interview, a face-to-face interview, or via video conference, to gauge an applicant’s skills and behavior directly related to the candidate’s performance on the job. When scheduling the interview, the organization will tell the applicant the names of the panel members who will be conducting the interview.

Following the results of those assessment stages, a group of qualified candidates is recommended for selection, and an independent review body then evaluates the recommendations for qualified candidates, ensuring that the selection process was conducted correctly. With endorsement of the review body on the recommendations, the head of a department makes the selection decision to hire usually one individual, although more are sometimes hired, out of the pool of the qualified candidates.

Young Professionals Programme

The Young Professionals Programme is another way to apply for jobs at U.N.-related organizations. The program allows people to begin a career as a civil servant with the U.N. Secretariat. The program consists of an entrance examination coupled with professional development programs. The examination is held annually on the same day in select examination centers worldwide, according to the website.

Examination subjects depend on the staffing needs of the organization, and descriptions of job responsibilities and required education and competencies vary depending on the recruiting field. Potential applicants are invited to apply for different examination subjects, according to the website. For this year, the examination will be offered in two areas; economic affairs and information and telecommunications technology.

Each year, countries that are unrepresented or under-represented in the U.N. are invited to take part in the program. There are currently more than 50 countries that are either unrepresented or under-represented in the U.N.

A qualified applicant is required to hold the nationality of one of the participating countries, be 32 years old, or younger, in the year of the examination, meaning that an applicant must be 32 years old or younger as of Dec. 31 in the year of the examination. A first-level university degree which is relevant to the exam subject an applicant is taking is also required, as well as fluency either in English or French.

If you are qualified, you may submit an application form that will be screened at the next step to determine whether you are eligible to proceed with the selection process further to take written and oral examinations. If one specific exam area in one country attracts more than 40 applicants, those applications will be subject to further screening, and will be ranked based on level of education completed, U.N. official language proficiency and work experience in relevant areas.

JPO Programme

The JPO Service Center administers the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme for about 15 U.N. departments and organizations.

JPOs are recruited in respective countries, and the countries dispatching the officers to U.N.-related organizations are called donor countries. Under bilateral agreements between the U.N. and donor countries, JPOs are recruited for U.N.-managed development projects.

The respective governments of the member nations sponsor this program and in Japan the Foreign Ministry handles it, offering potential applicants related material and information on how to apply to the posts.

Candidates for the program are usually under 32 years old and are required to hold a master’s degree, or equivalent, in a discipline related to development, with paid experience in a related area, preferably in a developing nation for at least two years. Regarding language skills, a candidate is required to have written and spoken proficiency in at least two of the U.N. Development Program’s working languages: English, French and Spanish.

In fiscal 2014, the Foreign Ministry dispatched 44 junior professional officers, out of 301 applicants, following the dispatch of 40 out of 285 applicants the previous year, according to the ministry.

Also according to the ministry, citing U.N. statistics, 790 Japanese were working at U.N.-related organizations as of Dec. 31, 2013, representing 2.5 percent of the total number of staff. The figure compares with 2,978 workers, or 9.3 percent, from the U.S., 1,932 or 6 percent from France, and 1,675, or 5.2 percent, from the U.K. The number of Japanese staff employed at the U.N. Secretariat as of June 30, 2014, was about one-third of the desired level, the ministry said.


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